Guest Post Blog by Derek Ochej, Communication Professional
Having worked in the municipal communications field since 2006, I have witnessed first-hand the addition of online paid advertising as another tool in the communications professional toolkit, alongside the traditional advertising media of paid print, radio or billboard advertising, to name just a few. Often I am also the youngest person in my office, sometimes 30 years younger than my managers or colleagues, which naturally makes me the online advertising ‘expert’. While I claim no expertise, I have learned a few things in my interactions with upper level management when trying to explain the benefits and debunk the myths of online paid advertising, particularly the omnipresent Facebook advertising. Below are some of the situations you may face yourself, and how you can best put to rest any upper management fears:
Situation: You have explained that Facebook advertising can allow you to target a specific audience using the self-reported demographics of users. The follow-up question: how can we know these are accurate?
Response: The simple answer is that you cannot know for sure that the self-reported demographics are correct, but the majority of users will properly their gender, age, location, etc. You have to put a bit of faith that the majority of users are honest, just like in any other situation.
Situation: You have explained that payment for the ads can be based on clicks or based on impressions. You receive a blank stare in return.
Response: Break it down simply: cost per click means you pay for the ad only when someone clicks on the ad. These ads are best used when you are trying to drive users to your website to complete a survey, download an app or like a page; in short, use this type of ad when you want a user to complete a specific action.
Cost per impressions means you only pay for every 1,000 times an ad appears on a users screen. These ads are best used when you are trying to communicate a simple message of awareness, such as the availability of a specific program or an event. The good news is users can still click on the ad to jump to a specific webpage, but you won’t be charged anything extra if the ad is clicked.
Situation: You are explaining all of the metrics that are available to measure the success of an advertising campaign. You receive a response of “how do we know they don’t inflate the number of clicks or views to make the ad seem more successful?”
Response: Much like the first situation and response, there is no way to prove the metrics are 100% accurate (in all likelihood they are inflated). Inflating statistics happens throughout all media: a radio station may claim a listenership of 80,000 people, but that is no guarantee all of them are tuned in and actively listening when you ad is played. The same can be said for newspapers; they may claim a distribution of 30,000 subscribers, but there is no guarantee everyone is going to see you ad. Users may not read the paper that day due to other commitments, or maybe your ad will be appearing in a section that a subscriber does not read.
Situation: After explaining the difference between cost per click and cost per impression, you try and explain how they are budgeted differently as well. This leads to greater confusion.
Response: With cost per click, you only pay when someone clicks on the ad. Your ‘bid’ on the cost per click will vary each time you create an ad, but it can range from $ 0.20 to $ 2.00. With cost per impression, you pay for every 1,000 times the ad appears on screen. Again your ‘bid’ will vary, but the range is typically $ 0.02 to $ 0.80. A concern that is often raised after explaining this point is can you control how much is spent and the simple answer is yes. There is a daily maximum budget that can you set for an ad, and once that budget is reached the ad will no longer be shown for that day, ensuring you stay within budget.
A key point to keep in mind when broaching the topic of Facebook advertising with any colleagues or management would be that it is simply another advertising tool that should be used when appropriate. By no means is it a panacea that will allow you to stop all other advertising, but it can help supplement the current tools you are using. The old marketing adages of right audience, right message still hold true.
Guest Post Blog by Derek Ochej, Public Education and Promotion Coordinator for City of Kingston
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